Thousands call for safety improvements on bypass after three more people are killed


Following this week's tragic accident which resulted in the loss of three members of the same family, thousands of people are calling for action to be taken to improve the safety of Alderley Edge bypass.

Caroline Harrison has set up a petition calling for the A34 Melrose Way to be made a well lit dual carriage way which so far has been signed by over 3250 people.

She said "Since the opening of this stretch of the A34 there has been multiple accidents - some fatal!!

"This road has no lighting whatsoever.. by making it well lit and a dual carriage way with central reservations, will hopefully cut down the amount of accidents! We need to take control before anyone else looses family members!!"

There have been three fatal accidents, as a result of which six people sadly died, and many other serious collisions on this three mile stretch of the A34 since the £52 million bypass was open by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on November 19th, 2010.

Following a collision involving a car and a minibus on the A34 Melrose Way at 12.04am on Sunday, 4th November, three people died.Liyakat Sidat, 47, and his daughter Hajra Sidat, 14, died at the scene and his wife Salma Sidat, 41, died at hospital.

The family, from the Old Trafford area of Greater Manchester, were travelling in the car along with a nine-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman, who are currently in hospital. Their respective conditions are described as critical and serious. Additionally, a number of casualties from the minibus were treated at the scene and taken to hospital.

In November 2017 two people died in a road traffic collision on the Alderley Edge bypass when a Ford Fusion traveling towards Congleton was in a collision with a Ford transit van traveling in the opposite direction.

Sadly the driver of the Ford Fusion, an 85-year-old man, and his passenger, an 82 year-old woman, died at the scene. Both were from Newcastle-under-Lyme.

In September 2013, 11 year old Flynn Morrissey died after being involved in a head on collision with another car on the A34 Alderley Edge bypass.

A red Porsche crossed into the opposite carriageway on a bend in the road and into the path of a Ford Focus being driven Flynn's mother by Nicola Clifford. Mrs Clifford had been taking her two sons to school. One was a front seat passenger, the other, 11 year old Flynn Morrissey, was in the back. Sadly Flynn sustained fatal injuries in the head on collision. 

Councillor Craig Browne said "Following the tragic accident last Saturday evening, on behalf of the community of Alderley Edge, I offer my condolences to the bereaved families whose lives will have been altered forever by what has happened. This is not the time for finger pointing; however, there are questions which need answers.

"There have now been six fatalities over the last five years on the same section of Melrose Way; to the best of my knowledge, all have been caused by vehicles attempting to overtake. Twelve months ago, following the previous fatal accident, I called on Cheshire East Highways to introduce a 50mph speed restriction on Melrose Way, as well as double white lines to prohibit overtaking. This is the response I received from the Senior Highways Design Officer, in December 2017:

"The use of double white lines is strictly governed by national guidance as contravention is an endorsable offence. They must only be used where forward visibility is substandard for the speed of vehicles. The forward visibility on Melrose Way (A34) is in excess of the required level for their implementation and as such, they can not be introduced in this instance.At present we are liaising with Cheshire Constabulary and awaiting further details from their investigation in to the recent collision that resulted in fatalities. If through this investigation it is recommended that measures are required, then we will work closely with Cheshire Constabulary to identify the most appropriate evidence led action, including possible speed limit reductions."

"My request for double white lines was therefore dismissed, whilst my request for a speed limit reduction was left open, pending the results of a police investigation which have still not been made available to me. Whilst accidents will always happen, the real tragedy is that three people may have still been alive today, had the restrictions I asked for twelve months ago been implemented.

"Whilst the policy regarding visibility splays may be technically correct, there are now, tragically, six strong reasons why local conditions must be taken into account and action taken, both by Cheshire East Highways and also by Cheshire Police.

"I believe that the petition is well-intentioned and I appreciate the support it will give me in calling for change to be made; however, leaving aside for a moment the obvious cost and time to implement such a scheme (which could run into millions of pounds and several years), dual carriageways tend not to have a positive impact in terms of reducing speed, in fact they usually have the opposite effect.

"No solution is perfect and there will always be road accidents; however, the higher the speed involved, the more likely it is that those accidents will result in loss of life."

Updated" Friday 9th November

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: "This was a tragic traffic accident and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those involved.

"The Melrose Way crash is currently being investigated by Cheshire police and it would not be appropriate at this time to speculate on the possible causes of the collision or whether any additional safety measures are appropriate."

Alderley Edge Bypass


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Russell
Thursday 8th November 2018 at 1:44 pm
I wondered how long this would take. While i offer my full sympathies to the families involved, it is mentioned above all fatal accidents have been caused by poor driving of some sort. The cost involved in making this dual carriageway would probably be £10's of millions, added to that the disruption for the 10 years it would take.

Instead of MP's/Councillors jumping on the band wagon, why dont they force proper change.

I have never once seen a police officer on the road, checking speeders, yet i regularly see them in the airport tunnels, which as far as i can remember have had no fatalities. (in the last 10 yrs that ive been using them)

Its all a matter of priorities, whats more important, speed enforcement where we know there is poor driving, or checking facebook for people that swear etc etc. Its about time the police did their proper job, out on the streets instead of dealing with snowflakes complaining about trivial things.

Simple really, is a life more important that a facebook post? Ill leave it to the people to decide.

And before people shoot me down, the petition is over 3000 strong, for action. So use that will for proper change, fancy sounding sound bites change nothing and the deaths on our roads will continue. Lights wont stop poor driving/speeding, cars nowadays have excellent lights on them and can be seen from miles away. Ask for proper action, and encourage your representatives to do it, not sit around for years waiting for reports. I dont need a report to tell me people are losing their lives, because enforcement isnt taking place.
David Nelson
Thursday 8th November 2018 at 1:49 pm
It's not lighting; it's not a central reservation; saving lives is careful considerate driving.
Andy Horsey
Thursday 8th November 2018 at 1:51 pm
The issue with this is that it should have been built as dual carriageway with a central crash barrier
People who don’t know the area ( and some who do ) use it as a dual carriageway not realising it is in fact single carriageway and that put simply makes it a lethal road to use
Why on earth this was not built as a dual carriageway similar to Wilmslow and Handforth by passes in addition to the new Manchester airport link road I don’t know nor indeed understand unless was that it had to done on the cheap yet again
What a cost that is in lives already lost never mind any future ones unless action is taken to widen as a full dual carriageway
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 8th November 2018 at 3:48 pm
There is no evidence that anyone treats it as a dual carriageway. The absence of a second carriageway is a big clue that it is a single carriageway road.

The tragedy last weekend appears to have taken place not on the bypass itself, but at or very close to the roundabout at the south end, where it rejoins the old A34 near Monks Heath. The previous two fatal accidents were, apparently caused by (in one case) the driver of a powerful car losing control and crossing into the opposite lane unintentionally, and (in the other case) the unexplained crossing of a car into the other lane. It was not overtaking at the time, was within the speed limit, and police found no mechanical or medical evidence to explain what happened.

Road travel carries a far higher accident risk than do other forms of transport. This road is no exception.
Nick Jones
Friday 9th November 2018 at 8:37 am
A sensible petition worthy y of signing;

I have met oncoming traffic engaged in ridiculous , dangerous, overtaking manouveres several times on this stretch of road, Solid white lines in the centre seems an appropriate relatively cheap 'quick fix' for CEC, who surely must admit there is a serious problem here that needs addressing.
Brian Tickner
Friday 9th November 2018 at 9:43 am
Well said Vince, I agree with all of your comments.

I believe a lot of collisions arise from inattention to road signs; poor driving skills; distraction by passengers etc. I also think that despite driving tests being tougher, driving standards are falling year on year.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 10th November 2018 at 7:06 am
Another tragic event on our roads.
There are some very insightful comments from a former County Councillor on the Alderley Edge website
Jon Williams
Saturday 10th November 2018 at 7:22 am
The petition is a no go from the start due to costs, whats needed is a lower speed limit (50mph) and no overtaking double white lines on the bends and dips and of course a Traffic Police Car a few days a week
Manuel Golding
Saturday 10th November 2018 at 12:44 pm
Not wishing to make light of the terrible & tragic loss of life last weekend, two simple solutions need to be implemented without delay -
1) Double white lines along the whole length of this road (i.e. No overtaking) and
2) Average Speed Cameras at both entrances to the road (both directions to be speed monitored), which will automatically dish out speeding tickets to drivers breaking the speed limit along the length of road.
Robert Taylor
Sunday 11th November 2018 at 8:45 am
The outcome of a thorough investigation is required before any knee-jerk-reaction actions taken on this one.

There are a few significant faults with this road in my opinion because it was built on a tighter budget than required. More particularly the horizontal and vertical alignments to allow decent visibility for safe overtaking; poor timing on the toucan crossings for pedestrians at Royal London and on the Alderley Park end the roundabouts do not have a natural flow around the central kerb edges (too large and oriented wrongly) whhich could lead to the kerbing of a vehicle exiting the roundabout, and consequent loss of control, in both directions.
Nick Jones
Monday 12th November 2018 at 9:48 am
From ... An interesting input from Marc Asquith re this road....
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 3:28 pm
As you leave the Wilmslow bypass towards Alderley on the dual carriageway the lane for the Alderley bypass is left hand. The left lane is Alderley village as well. Every time I get in the correct lane I’m overtaken by someone doing around 50-60mph in the wrong lane who cuts in front of me. Arrogant speeders.
John Harries
Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 5:18 pm
Vince Chadwick answered a vital question I had about this sad affair - it occured at the Alderley Park end roundabout. In my opinion that is the least dangerous section of the scheme with the vast majority of traffic, in both directions, taking the 'straight through' route.
I would rather wait for the expert findings on this particular accident but would hazard a guess that the cause was either driver error or a mechanical fault. The roundabout is I believe well lit so 'undue/excess' speed at that specific location is one of the least likely probabilities other than one or other of the drivers was disoriented and hadn't appreciated the proximity of the roundabout.
Much of the current comment is not really valid and is the result of jumping on the previous tragic history bandwagon - depends on your point of view on those two incidents! I offered my twopeneth after the last accident - too many impatient drivers exceeding the speed limit and taking risks where overtaking is really hazardous; a legal closing speed of 120mph on this stretch of road is almost certain death in the event of a head-on collision.
Quick and cheap answer - reduce speed limit to 50mph and have more speed limit repeater signs plus police presence to deter and/or book the perpetrators and if double white lines cannot be introduced maybe a hatched central reservation would have a similar effect without the regulatory brake.
I personally would sign a petition to introduce 50mph speed averaging cameras as Manuel Golding has suggested; the same action had a very dramatic outcome on the Cat and Fiddle road where there had been a high incidence of fatal accidents over a long period when no preventative actions had been taken.
None of the above will prevent idiot, irresponsible driver behaviour causing another fatal accident but it could dramatically reduce the possibility.
Helen Clark
Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 9:54 pm
Don’t see how it would cost £10s of millions or take 10 years to make this into a dual carriageway.
A dual carriageway is simply a road with a dividing strip ie a central reservation, not 2 lanes in each direction! If a road is not separated it is a single carriageway.
Also, when you are going straight over a roundabout you should be in the left hand lane. So many people do not do this & just cut in front of you.
Quickest, easiest & cheapest option for this road would be to reduce the speed limit & install speed cameras.
Randal MacRandal
Friday 16th November 2018 at 3:24 pm
We've all been victim to aggressive and selfish driving on such roads when we encounter the more privileged (some might say brain-dead) driver who is altogether too important to have to stay in the correct lane like ordinary folk. They often drive cars for which a lobotomy is a prerequisite of ownership. Yes ! I know it's not the vehicle's fault. It's the moron behind the wheel.
Christopher Jackson
Friday 16th November 2018 at 8:29 pm
There seems to be a lot of confusion as to which part of the bypass this accident happened , could somebody confirm
Roger Thawley
Wednesday 28th November 2018 at 3:48 pm
I see the reactionaries are out in force calling for a reduction in the speed limit, without there being any information to indicate that excessive speed has been a factor in accidents, so far.
Among the issues with the bypass is the fact that it was conceived as a dual carriageway but funding failed to provide for that. Perhaps, had adequate funding been made available, the situation wouldn't be as it is. The country is grinding to a halt under the burden of nonsensical speed limits on roads crying out for proper improvement.